The answer to this seems obvious right? Of all of the people I have encountered, their first response was “No” image is not the true meaning of health! If that’s the case, then why am I constantly bombarded with reminders of my current inadequacy? Why do I have to lose weight? Why do I continually compare myself with others online? And why do I feel the constant need to change who I am? Let’s face it, we all spend time on social media, looking and admiring beautiful women and men. Maybe we’re looking for an escape from our own lives? Or perhaps we’re curious about the lives of other people? What is our motivation for this behaviour? It’s funny when you think about it because it seems ludicrous to spend all day watching other people as if you were in a movie theatre. "I love her body", "I wish I looked like him", "they have the best life", are all common thoughts. Don’t fool yourself, all of us have thought this way, and I know I think like this all the time. We all do it and for many of us we believe that what we see is real life, although part of us knows it’s not. How many of these people actually live a perfect life? What really is the perfect body? And how does maintaining the facade affect someone’s mental health & stability?
What I’ve learnt is that being healthy is not all about looking good and posting about it on social media. But, is something that starts from within. The most important point is to be happy with who you are regardless of how you look. Whilst you do so, work on reducing how much time you spend on social media and be aware of your thoughts towards other people. I wasn’t aware of how long I was spending on social media until I realized how poorly I was managing my time. I had began subconsciously judging others based on 'filtered' images. Endless browsing of 'Insta-famous' people seemed more important than finding a job or getting off my ass to go to the gym. I thought great abs, and attractive women were supposed to get me motivated? It was only when I started to compare myself to these perfect people, that I realized I was doing myself more harm than good. It effected my self-esteem, lowered my mood and made me feel worthless. I felt I wasn’t good enough. I had become self destructive and what was a quest to be healthier became a never ending spiral of social addiction and online comparisons. Have any of you ever felt this way? Looked in the mirror and said "I wish". I can tell you from experience, the way someone looks online is not a true representation of what life is. It doesn’t reflect the way people live or highlight the difficulties or challenges they face, let alone determine how healthy they are. It is simply a facade, a social filter that portrays life as a pretty picture. Just because someone has a ‘toned stomach’, ‘nice shaped butt’ or ‘big muscles’ doesn’t mean they're healthy or happy. Being healthy starts from within. It starts with a choice and with a goal in mind. Improving your health means improving your quality of life, making good choices and being aware of how you think about yourself and the world around you. Health isn't measured by how someone looks.